He speaks to them at schools everywhere; in privileged areas, in not so privileged areas and everything in between. He loves it. It’s his passion and his calling.
And while the areas he visits change the insidious effects of bullying don’t. Bullying doesn’t discriminate.
Brett is on a crusade to end bullying. His own story is inspirational. A classic tale of victim transforming into the victor.
Many people still don’t get the whole bullying thing. But the statistics tell the sad reality.
Take a minute and let these numbers sink in: Australia is number three in the world for High school bullying, number two in the world for teen suicide, suicide being the number one killer of males 15 - 24 in Australia. In 80% of all suicide cases bullying is the number one contributing factor.
So, Australia is second IN THE WORLD for teen suicides and in about 80 per cent of these cases bullying was significant in influencing a young person to end their own life.
And it’s not just schools and teenagers that are affected. Workplace bullying costs the federal economy in excess of $36B PA in lost productivity.
I was privileged to sit down with Brett for this interview on the eve of the make Bullying History Gala Dinner at Novotel Parramatta on October 29 to explore his motivation and passions.
WSBA: Thank you for spending time with us Brett. Can you tell us please a little about your background and how you ended up as CEO of an anti-bullying organisation?
Brett: Briefly, being a victim of massive bullying through high school, which affected my educational journey, i.e. left school early, I decided to make something of my life, turn it around and try and help stop any other young people from suffering as I did. My life's journey has seen me become a state rep or State Champion in 5 different sports, now I'm the only anti-bullying triathlete in the world, I'm married to an amazing woman with 3 incredible children, a multiply published author and co-founder of Make Bulling History Foundation with my wife Terrisa and CEO of the organisation. We're just getting started!
WSBA: What drives you each day to help others in their quest to end bullying?
Brett: It is my passion for people, to inspire them to achieve their dreams, fulfil their potential and be their best, that's what drives me. To leave a legacy and make a positive difference, a real difference in our world.
WSBA: If there is a model for business success how would you define it?
Brett: There are no shortcuts. Just like in triathlon, there is no secret to success, it's hard work, consistency, integrity, and tenacity. Never give up. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Integrity is important, if you try and cut corners, you will get found out, just like in training, you want the results, put in the hard work. we've been around long enough now for people to realise we are the real deal, we really do care, we have the runs on the board. It takes a while to become an overnight success. And above all, do what you are passionate about, people pick it up, and it's infectious.
WSBA: What are the qualities you are most attracted to in staff, colleagues and business partners?
Brett: One of the biggest qualities is humility, if someone blows their own trumpet too loud it's distracting. I like confidence though, and real humility has a respectable confidence with it. There has to be passion, and I think above all, wisdom and integrity. Wisdom to make the right choices, integrity, a track record of making right choices.
WSBA: How do you wind down, or maintain sense of balance in your life?
Brett: We as a family cherish family time, so hanging out watching movies, spending any time together with the family we all love. Going to new places together, beaches in Summer, a good restaurant, great coffee, and as business people, rewards. The harder you work, the more you need to reward yourself. At least two weekend trips away per year in between the family holiday I think is essential. What's the point of working so hard and sacrificing so much to create positive change if you don't experience any reward? As humans, even with the best intentions, you will soon burn out.
WSBA: Please describe your greatest life lesson, or most influential turn-around moment.
Brett: My biggest life lesson, turn around moment, was sitting down with my wife Terrisa, at a Coffee club, and talking out our vision. We'd decided to grow, the cause was obviously bigger than us, so we needed to go to the next level. The decision was made to become a charity, Terrisa explained what our logo would be and I having a little drawing talent drew it up on a napkin, we still have it. It represented visually what we are all about, standing together as a community helping empower others. Listening to Terrisa, being brave enough to risk everything and step up into the next level of productivity, action, education and influence, being willing to be challenged to grow and stretch, that was the biggest turn around. The life lesson in it all, the whole journey is that you can't do it alone.
WSBA: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive who would that person be and why?
Brett: I'd love to have dinner with Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and Sir Richard Branson. All real courageous leaders who stood their ground with courage and conviction. I can't do the first three, but who knows, maybe I'll get the chance to dine with Sir Richard one day!
WSBA: Your favourite book?
Brett: I really enjoyed Paul Barry's 'The Rise and rise of Kerry Packer, Also Pardon me I'm Prospering by Kevin Gerald, Leadership Promises for every day by John Maxwell something I read daily, and The Power of right Believing by Joseph Prince.
WSBA: Your favourite movie?
Brett: Being a state Champion - Boxer Rocky III, followed closely by Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6) and Braveheart, and I love the Bourne Movies as well.
WSBA: If you could change one thing about the world today, what would that be?
Brett: I would change.... MEN! If I could have an impact on men, help dad's be better Fathers, better husbands, better Gentlemen, better leaders, better businessmen, by better I mean more integrity, more faithfulness, more present with their children, more committed to agenda's other than themselves. I'd change that! Globally.
TIME WITH is proudly sponsored by Taylor Nicholas -